Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Move over Leicester Square! The World Premiere of Alan Partridge’s new £4.5 million movie will be held in Norwich’s Anglia Square.
The shopping precinct will be given a coat of red carpet glamour as the film’s star Steve Coogan attends Partridge’s homecoming on July 24.
Norwich’s favourite fictional radio presenter will greet fans at Anglia Square before boarding a helicopter bound for London to attend the Leicester Square premiere of his film, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
And overjoyed to hear the breaking news, were campaign organisers Rafiq Turnbull, and Rob Wilkes, happy the comedy character was “coming home”.
“The whole world will be watching Norwich,” said Mr Turnbull, 40, owner of Main Source trainer shop, “it shows what two guys and a bit of social media can do.”
The campaign began three weeks ago when the two friends set up a Facebook group which since gained more than 7,000 likes.
One flash mob, hundreds of t-shirts and thousands of posters later, success arrived in the form of a tweet from production company Studio Canal, delivering a statement from Mr Partridge himself.
He said: “You can imagine how hurt and litigious I felt when people said I was planning to debut my movie in London instead of Norwich, or that I’d allowed my head to be turned by the prospect of big city fame.
“Any suggestions I’ve hastily cobbled together the lunchtime Norwich screening in response to a local Twitter campaign will be met with the full force of the law.”
Fans tweeted their excitement as news spread of the success.
Mr Wilkes, a graphic designer, said: “We’re completely blown away, ever since the news broke my phone was going so crazy I took the afternoon off work.
“The campaign was embraced by people all over the world - what started off as a giggle has grown into an organic beast!”
Trevor Wicks, owner of Anglia Square’s Hollywood Cinema, said: “It all kicked off today and over the weekend.
“Having a world premiere in our city is very special - we’re very pleased Studio Canal are giving us the opportunity.
He added: “The local campaign was incredible - I’ve been following it over the last few weeks.”
The film, which was shot at locations across Norfolk, opens in UK cinemas on August 7, and stars Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Sean Pertwee, Anna Maxwell Martin, Nigel Lindsay, Felicity Montagu, Simon Greenall and Phil Cornwell.
The plot thickens when Alan’s radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events which see Alan working with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege.